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Holywell Common and Halkyn Mountain Historic Landscape

Historic Landscape Characterisation

Holywell Common and Halkyn Mountain

The Administrative Landscape

During the later prehistoric period the area fell within the tribal area of the Deceangli, whose territory probably extended from the river on the east to the river Conwy on the west. The area had probably been conquered by the Romans by AD 60. By the mid 60s smelted lead was already being exported from the area by private lessees, although probably by the next decade the industry came under Roman imperial control. The region appears to have remained an important industrial area until the 3rd century or possibly beyond.

By perhaps the later 8th century the area came under the influence of the expanding Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia, lying partly between the Whitford Dyke to the west and Wat's Dyke which runs along the eastern side of Halkyn Mountain, taking in the coastal lowlands between Basingwerk and Flint. The area continued to be fought over by the emerging kingdoms of Wales and England for several centuries. By the time the Domesday Book was compiled in 1086 Halkyn Mountain fell within district of Englefeld (Englefield, Tegeingl), which formed part of Atiscros hundred in the county of Cheshire. By the 13th century Tegeingl, together with the cantrefs of Rhos, Rhufoniog and Dyffryn Clwyd formed Perfeddwlad ('middle country'), the Welsh kingdom of Gwynedd Is-Conwy ('Gwynedd below the Conwy').

The area was overrun by Norman marcher lords and English kings on various occasions between the later 11th and early 13th centuries until it was finally conquered by Edward I in the 1270s and 1280s. Tegeingl was retained as part of the king's private possession, becoming the hundred of Coleshill in the new county of Flint created in 1284.

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